Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Stieg Larsson

The Millenium Trilogy, as Steig Larsson called his ‘The Girl…’ series, has been a very popular crime/mystery series for the past few years. I have never been one to jump on the popular bandwagon. I never saw much charm in Harry Potter, wouldn’t step foot near Twilight, and can’t imagine reading a Patterson novel. But, when my book club suggested we read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo for July’s book, I thought it might be fun to take part in a quick read. I used to read mysteries all the time (in high school) and had recently showed interested in returning to the genre.

Many readers of the The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo are shocked by the pure violence and hate throughout the novel. And, I admit, there is something grotesque at work. But, I grew up on the literature of Dennis Cooper. Nothing will ever manage to surpass the downright violent acts at play within Cooper’s novels. With that being said, I find myself surprised so many readers were able to sit through the more violent scenes of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Are we as a culture becoming more and more comfortable with violence?

Larsson is not the most literary type. His novel is filled with unnecessary detail and never really does a great job with the description. The novel is filled with a lot of extra information. In fact, throughout the first 120 pages and the last 60 pages, there is a lot I could live without.

Larsson has created two stories within the novel. The story of a corrupt financial man and the disappearance of a wealthy young girl. I was only interested in the disappearance aspect of the story. And, this story only fills the middle 350 pages. This has always been my issues with mysteries. The author wants the novel to be real and spends so much time with exposition. This is how novels should be written. I’m sure I would complain if mysteries were as empty as I just stated I wanted them to be.

Once you get past the first 120 pages the novel speeds along into a very intriguing and dirty world.


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